The project was the first community excavation to occur in County Offaly and was deliberately arranged to coincide with the 50th Birr Vintage Week – a major local festival. As stated by Dr. Shine ‘the dig has been run entirely by a diverse group of volunteers including enthusiasts, locals, military historians, surveyors and archaeologists who have come together with a common aim of investigating the training trenches. The dig shows what can be achieved with a partnership approach between professional archaeologists, local government, historians, and the local community. It is refreshing that so many people were willing to give of their time so freely and generously – including specialists like Brendan Arrigan, Richard Reid and Ashely Green, out surveyor and geophysicist. Many thanks are due to each and every one of them’.
The excavation was a stand-alone project, but there remains major scope for excavation at this site. Future excavations will require funding, but for now the next step is analyses and publication of the results from Birr. As stated by Stephen Callaghan ‘this is only the start on a more in-depth study of the barracks itself and the role it played in Birr and the surrounding environs’.